The solidarity fund was designed to respond to natural disasters and demonstrate European solidarity towards badly affected regions in EU member states, as well as candidate countries. The new legislative proposal simplifies the current rules to make the payment of aid faster. It also introduces the possibility of making advance payments. The whole proposal is characterised by greater clarity on whom and what will be eligible, particularly with regard to regional disasters. In addition, the reform encourages member states to include the development of risk management and disaster prevention strategies in their agendas. The principles of the fund remain unchanged, as does the fact that its financing is outside the EU budget.
During the past and current legislative periods, the S&D Group has requested the adoption of a new regulation for the solidarity fund including more flexibility and better efficiency. We therefore followed the negotiations closely and significantly improved the final outcome.